London's New Year's Day Parade
The London New Year's Day Parade (LNYDP) is an annual parade through the streets of the West End of London on 1 January. The parade first took place in 1987, as the Lord Mayor of Westminster's Big Parade. The parade was renamed in 1994, and for 2000 only it was called the Millennium Parade.
The London parade is the biggest New Year's Day street event of its kind. It attracts around a million live spectators and US television network PBS (more than 250 stations) cover the entire event live, reaching millions of viewers across the World. There is ticket-only grandstand seating at various points along the route. Destination Events Ltd. are the organisers of London's New Year's Day Parade (LNYDP).
The parade route is two miles (3.2 km) long. Before 2010 it began at Parliament Square in Westminster, continuing along Parliament Street and Whitehall to Trafalgar Square. It then continued along Cockspur Street and Regent Street. The final section was along Piccadilly and the parade ended at Green Park.
In 2010 the parade route was reversed to "appease US television broadcasters" and to "give the American audience the best views of the capital's landmarks, such as the Elizabeth Tower of the Palace of Westminster (The Houses of Parliament, also known as Big Ben) and Trafalgar Square". The revised route started at the Ritz Hotel, along Piccadilly to Piccadilly Circus, down Regent Street, then along Pall Mall to Trafalgar Square, then along Whitehall to Parliament Square.
The parade is used to raise funds for charities in London and representatives from each of the 32 London boroughs are encouraged to take part as a "borough entry", judged as part of the event. The winning entry in the 2017 parade was the City of Westminster with the entry titled Mary Poppins. London's New Year's Parade (LNYDP) has raised “the best part of £2 million” for London charities since its inception. The 2020 London Borough of Culture, 'Brent' took first place at London's New Year's Day Parade 2020. The competition was postponed until January 1st 2023, due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
The Pride of New Mexico Marching Band from New Mexico State University was the first collegiate marching band to participate in the parade. The band, under the direction of George Hattendorf, marched in the first Lord Mayor of Westminster's Big Parade in 1987. The Marching 97 of Lehigh University performed in 2018.
The Shawnee Mission West High School marching band from Overland Park, Kansas, USA, has marched in the parade nine times. The 130-member Dixie Heights High School Marching Colonels from Edgewood, Kentucky performed in the parade in 1991 led by Band Director Daryl Angel. The 240-member Walker Valley High School Band from Cleveland, Tennessee, directed by Alan Hunt, and the vocal ensemble from the same school, marched in the 2007 parade. The vocal ensemble was also honoured by being asked to start the parade off by singing the British national anthem. The 140-member marching band from Fort Myers High School in Florida, USA, were initially prohibited from taking part in the 2007 parade because US education officials feared they might be caught in a terrorist attack. The decision was later overruled. The school also hosted the two winners of that year's BBC London competition.
Other American high school groups that have performed include the Leslie Blackhawk Marching Band from Leslie, Michigan (1992), the Goshen High School Marching Band, Goshen Indiana. Aberdeen High School Marching Eagle, from Aberdeen, Maryland, the Troy High School marching band from Troy, Michigan, the Deep Run Marching Wildcats of Glen Allen, VA, the Blue Valley West Marching Band from Overland Park, Kansas, Turpin High School marching band from Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Golden Eagle Marching Band from Fleming Island, Florida. The Stone Bridge High School Marching Bulldogs from Ashburn, Virginia, the Troy High School Trojan Marching Band from Troy, Ohio performs every 4 years, and the Menchville High School Marching Monarchs from Newport News, Virginia, who have performed in the parade twice, in 2009 and 2014. The Briar Woods High School marching band, also from Ashburn, Virginia, performed in 2011. The Gilbert High School Tiger Pride Marching Band from Gilbert, Arizona in 2015 and 2021 (Now pushed back to 2022), The Mountain View High School Toro Marching Band from Mesa, Arizona in 2016, The Verrado High School Viper Vanguard Marching Band from Buckeye, Arizona in 2018, The Desert Mountain High School Marching Band from Scottsdale, Arizona in 2015 and 2019, The Waubonsie Valley High School Marching Warriors from Aurora, Illinois performed in 2006. The 150-member Murphy High School Mighty Marching Panthers from Mobile, Alabama performed in 1989 receiving top honors. The Prior Lake High School marching band performed on several occasions, most recently in 2006.
In 1996, the Sandy Creek High School Marching band (located in Tyrone, GA) performed at the New Year's Day Parade.
In 1998, the Council Rock Marching Band from Newtown, PA lead off the parade.
The Clinton High School band from Clinton, Tennessee performed in the 2003 parade.
In 2010, the Legacy High School (Broomfield, Colorado) Lightning Marching Band performed in the parade.
In 2014, for the first time a marching band from Latin America participated, representing Panama, the Banda de Música Víctor Raúl González of Colegio Moisés Castillo Ocaña (MCO Marching Band) of La Chorrera shook London's soil with their performance in Trafalgar Square and was the marching band that opened London's New Year's Day Parade 2014.
In 2019, The Pride of the Treasure Coast, the Vero Beach Fighting Indians Band from Vero Beach, Florida performed in the parade.
In 2019, The 2018-2019 Pride of Bixby Marching Band from Bixby, Oklahoma performed in the parade. Bixby Bands Wind Ensembles also performed in two London venues prior to the parade.
In 2019, the Blue Valley Northwest High School Band from Overland Park, Kansas performed.
In 2019, the Robert E. Fitch Sr. High School Band from Groton, Connecticut performed. The High School Choir also performed at the London International Choral Festival.
In 2020, the Brunswick High School Marching Blue Devils from Brunswick, Ohio performed
In 2020, the Nogales High School Noble Regiment from La Puente, California performed
In 2020, the West Orange High School band from Winter Garden, Florida performed.
In 2020, the Lake Nona High School Sound of the Lions from Orlando, Florida performed.
In 2020, the Parkview High School Marching Band from Lilburn, Georgia performed.
In 2020, the Newport High School Marching Band from Bellevue, Washington performed.
In 2020, the Marshall University Marching Thunder from Huntington, West Virginia performed.
In 2021, the Blue Jay Pride Marching Band from Liberty, Missouri performed, virtually.
In 2022, the Santa Fe High School marching band from Edmond, Oklahoma performed.
London's town crier is also part of the parade.
In 2019 Megan McKenna sung a duet with US Country star Kaleb Lee, as thousands gathered for London's New Year's Day Parade.  Alongside Megan McKenna, celebrity Illusionist Andrew Lee became the first Malaysian to take part in London's New Year's Day Parade. In 2021, the British K-pop girl group Kaachi, performed on the parade, virtually.  Jamie Cullum and Sophie Ellis-Bextor added to the virtual spectacular in 2021, joining KAACHI and a host of other performers. Television and Broadway star Marisha Wallace headlined LNYDP 2022 alongside an impressive roster including the Voice UK winner Molly Hocking and Doctor turned DJ Bodalia.
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